National tabloid Correio da Manhã has picked up a new legal headache since its television channel aired the Public Ministry grilling of former interior minister Miguel Macedo over the latter’s involvement in alleged corruption into Portugal’s Golden Visa programme. The hugely embarrassing clip was broadcast throughout the weekend and saw Macedo saying he “didn’t know, hadn’t seen and couldn’t remember” anything relevant to the inquiry.
Macedo was made aware of the broadcast by a friend, he told journalists later and this has now prompted his recourse to legal advice.
Talking to Jornali – one of two national papers due to disappear within the next two weeks (see Portugal loses two national papers owned by former president of BES Angola), on Sunday, Macedo said he had never seen anything like it.
“I will not reveal my state of spirit. I will not say anything,” he said.
But since then, the Attorney General’s office (PGR) has announced it has launched an inquiry.
“Although the case is no longer protected by secrecy of justice, the publishing of this material is prohibited under article 88 No. 2 of the penal code,” it said in a statement today, and this could lead to CMTV’s prosecution for a crime of disobedience.
CMTV for its part has claimed the broadcasting of the interview was in the public interest.
Deputy director Eduardo Dâmaso told RTP lunchtime news today that what was at issue here was a former government minister presenting a version of the facts that was “clearly contrary” to those presented by the prosecution.